Carly Car Check app launched


Even with reams of history, a discerning owner and all possible checks completed, buying a used car is always a slight gamble. How has it been driven during those miles? Is something about to expire that I've not been told about? What if it's clocked?

"Hang on, this 335d ISN'T mapped?"
"Hang on, this 335d ISN'T mapped?"
That could be about to change though, with a new app promising to deliver the most detail yet for used car buyers, by accessing the car's diagnostic port. The Carly Car Check has been created in Germany - so it's only available for BMWs, Minis, Mercedes and VWs currently - and uses an adapter and mobile app to deliver a diagnostic and mileage report to your phone on any prospective purchase. Perhaps send the seller in to make a coffee at that point...

Carly's research with 300,000 cars revealed that 23 per cent of Minis tested had some kind of mileage manipulation, with 27 per cent of E60 5 Series too. Of all the BMWs analysed, 15 per cent had some kind of discrepancy detected by the app; 90 per cent of those were mileage related, the rest "concerning manipulating the vehicle identity itself."

Time to reveal some secrets...
Time to reveal some secrets...
The Carly app interrogates up to 50 control units, providing fuel economy data, fault codes and journey times too. We'd all rather buy a car that's been used for longer journeys rather than just shunting around town, right? Now you can know! In addition, the app can apparently be used to clear fault codes - so there is an advantage for sellers too, if they're feeling sneaky - as well as begin DPF regeneration in diesel cars. Yep, what would have once required a long drive can now be initiated via your smartphone. That's assuming anybody is left buying diesels at the moment...

All sounds very clever then, and a useful tool for used car buyers - you can read more about how it works on this BMW forum. Prices start at £44.90 for the adapter, with the 'Lite' version of the app free from wherever you source your apps. The 'Pro' version of the app costs £43.99, and that's what you're going to need to access the features described above. More expensive than downloading Angry Birds, yes, but then it could save you an awful lot more than the purchase price further down the road.

??[Sources: CarlyCarCheck??, Bimmerfest]

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Comments (19) Join the discussion on the forum

  • Matt Bird 6 days ago

    Just to say I know that's a 1 Series interior (or think it is) but the 335d joke was too good to miss! laugh

  • Davie 6 days ago

    It's been discussed elsewhere but would be slightly dubious about letting somebody poke about with the ECU... guess if it was a read only device then would be safe enough but I'd be wary of letting anybody plug in anything that could do any more. Wonder how long before some enterprising gang figure they can clone this system and use it to glean data under the false claims they are perspective buyers then come back later and take it for free.

    Or is that tin hat material...

  • Silverbullet767 6 days ago

    I have the Carly app, and adapter, it's a fantastic tool that lets me code, and diagnose. (coding out bulb checks for replacement LED's etc)

    And it sucessfully diagnosed a borked ABS unit letting me get it repaired rather than replaced at a cost of around £300 all in rather than the £2500k+ BMW wanted.

    I'll look forward to receiving this update!

  • QuattroDave 6 days ago

    Davie said:
    It's been discussed elsewhere but would be slightly dubious about letting somebody poke about with the ECU... guess if it was a read only device then would be safe enough but I'd be wary of letting anybody plug in anything that could do any more. Wonder how long before some enterprising gang figure they can clone this system and use it to glean data under the false claims they are perspective buyers then come back later and take it for free.

    Or is that tin hat material...
    Absolutely. Carly & bimmercode (I have both) let you change aspects of the cars functionality. I wouldn't hold it against a seller if they didn't want to let a prospective buyer go near their car with these.

    Also these apps are limited by their application - i.e. they only do a small range of vehicles.

    Torque Pro however is a largely read only OBDII reader that allows you to look at stored ECU faults (and if you have the pro version - clear them also). The other advantage with torque pro is as long as the car has an obd2 connector this will work and it'll work with both bluetooth and wifi adapters (the other two either don't support both or have limited functionality with bluetooth),

    I have all three and they all have their uses!

  • Davie 6 days ago

    QuattroDave said:
    Torque Pro however is a largely read only OBDII reader that allows you to look at stored ECU faults (and if you have the pro version - clear them also). The other advantage with torque pro is as long as the car has an obd2 connector this will work and it'll work with both bluetooth and wifi adapters (the other two either don't support both or have limited functionality with bluetooth),
    I have Torque Pro app with the OBDII dongle and it's ok to keep in the glove box for basic jobs... reading codes, clearing codes and viewing basic live data which I'd be happy to show any perspective buyer but I wouldn't be happy to let somebody roll up with their own gear and start scrolling through assorted menus and such like. Not that I have any thing to hide, but it's just too easy to do damage with these systems... hell, even bending a pin as you ham fisted shove the dongle in can be an expensive day out. It's all getting a bit too 'big brother' these days, more so checking drive cycles and such like. GTF!

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